NHS organisations are to be offered discounted access to VWware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

It is hoped the new model will help trusts, CCGs and other bodies move their IT services towards cloud-first data centres after NHS Digital secured an agreement with software firm VMware.

NHS Digital has already begun migrating data across to the cloud and will continue to move more cloud services.

Rob Shaw, deputy chief executive of NHS Digital, said: “The uptake of digital services in the NHS is accelerating so the NHS and social care’s IT backbone must be up to the job.

“With VMware Cloud on AWS, we’re providing a resilient platform to support digitally-enabled care today and in the future.

“We now have a commercial framework in place to enable NHS and public-sector organisations to confidently use the cloud.

“Together we can benefit from the economies of scale and cost efficiencies of this model.”

The organisation announced in January 2018 that it was issuing new national guidance for health and care organisations considering cloud services for storing patient information.

The document outlines a framework for assessing and managing risk around the use of public cloud technologies in the health and social care sectors in England, including legalities around how data should be stored and used and considerations to be made by organisations when choosing a supplier.

Mike Flintoft, Associate Director for Platforms and Infrastructure at NHS Digital, said: “We choose the right cloud for each workload, and VMware Cloud on AWS is the absolute best option for running our vSphere-based environments in the cloud.

“It’s easy to move solutions across the different environments and it’s easy to run and manage.

“We built a virtual data centre in the AWS cloud in less than three hours.

“That speed and agility is just what we need to harness innovation and make the best digital services available for the NHS and social care sector.”